Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Other Men's Women
This week’s mystery movie was the 1931 Warner Bros. picture “Other Men’s Women,” with Grant Withers, Mary Astor, Regis Toomey, James Cagney, Fred Kohler, J. Farrell MacDonald, Joan Blondell, Lillian Worth and Walter Long.

By Maude Fulton, dialogue by William K. Wells.

Photography by Barney McGill, edited by Edward M. McDermott,  musical direction by Erno Rapee, wardrobe by Earl Luick, Vitaphone Orchestra conducted by Louis Silvers.

Directed by William A. Wellman.

“Other Men’s Women” is available on DVD from Warner Archive in Volume 3 of “Forbidden Hollywood.”

July 11, 2020, Other Men's Women
I ran this movie because it checked several boxes for me and the Brain Trust: Railroad movie? Check. Mary Astor movie? Check. Amputee from presumed railroad accident? Check.

But mostly I did it because of this shot (contrast adjusted to show the background), coming into the rail yards in Los Angeles, with City Hall on the skyline at left. Did they really shoot it on top of the train?

Steel Highway Exhibitors Herald
Yes, they did. Here’s Regis Toomey and Grant Withers on a railroad car as proof.

“Other Men’s Women” began life as “Steel Highway,” and was cast with James Hall, Grant Withers and Marion Nixon. Regis Toomey and Mary Astor were signed for the movie in July 1930.



Edward Churchill, writing in the Oct. 4, 1930, Exhibitors Herald-World said:

When Warner Bros. titled this product “The Steel Highway,” they planned to make a railroad story, but “The Steel Highway” is a powerful domestic drama, gripping from start to finish, with the railroad merely a background. It is a drama of great power, highly interesting and fascinating.

Mary Astor reveals herself as an actress and Grant Withers is just as strong in his role. Regis Toomey, who can laugh and at the same time give you a catch in the throat, does his bit in making “The Steel Highway” one of the best railroad pictures of all time.

Harrison’s Reports (Jan. 31, 1931) said:

Better than the usual program fare. It should prove generally pleasing to family audiences. Because it is well cast and the actors get the most out of their roles, the picture stands out a bit more than does the average program picture. The director has succeeded in getting a great deal out of the story.

Writing in the New York Times (April 20, 1931) A.D.S. did not approve of such goings-on:

“Other Men’s Women” adds another item to the list of tawdry and misleading titles with which certain of the bright young men of Hollywood have sought to woo the mystical box office this season. The film which it designates, now on view at the Warner Theatre, is an unimportant little drama of the railroad yards, rendered pleasantly enough by Grant Withers, Mary Astor and Regis Toomey. If nothing else, the picture represents a triumph for the Warner rain machines, which deluge the screen with profuse and workmanlike raindrops for the latter half of the story. There may be a legitimate doubt as to the dramatic integrity of the plot, but no one will deny the high quality of the rain.

July 6, 2020, Mystery Photo

Certain persons who wish to remain anonymous asked for a “railroad movie,” so here it is. For Monday, we have a mystery locomotive.

July 6, 2020, Mystery Photo
Also for Monday, we have two mystery women. They do not approve of such goings-on.

Update: The landlady on the right is Lucille Ward with an as yet unidentified companion.

July 7, 2020, Mystery Photo

For Tuesday, we have a mystery gent.

Update: This is J. Farrell MacDonald as Peg Leg.

Brain Trust roll call: Dan Nather (mystery movie) and Suzanne A. Stone (mystery movie and mystery cast).

July 8, 2020, Mystery Photo

For “Hm Wednesday,” we have a mystery waitress. Our leading man has been cropped out due to insufficient mysteriousness. He will appear Friday.

Update: This is Grant Withers (now uncropped) and Lillian Worth.

July 8, 2020, Mystery Photo
We also have a mystery clerk. The leading man has been cropped out again because he lacks mysteriousness.

Update: This is the now uncropped Grant Withers and an as yet unidentified clerk.

July 8, 2020, Mystery Photo
We also have….. no wait, that’s another railroad movie….

Update: This is “Barney Oldfield’s Race for Life,” in which Mabel Normand is tied to the railroad tracks by Ford Sterling and Raymond Hatton.

July 8, 2020, Mystery Photo
And finally, we have these mystery gentlemen. And as incredible as it may seem, they do not approve of such goings-on.

Update: This is Kewpie Morgan, left, and Fred Kohler.

Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (Tuesday’s mystery gent, wrong movie), Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie, Monday’s mystery landlady and Tuesday’s mystery gent), Floyd Thursby (Tuesday’s mystery gent, wrong movie), Michael Ryerson (Tuesday’s mystery gent, wrong movie), Mike Hawks (mystery movie and Tuesday’s mystery gent), Dan Nather (Monday’s mystery landlady and Tuesday’s mystery gent), Sheila (Tuesday’s mystery gent), Blackwing Jenny (Tuesday’s mystery gent), Patrick (Tuesday’s mystery gent) and Roget-L.A. (Tuesday’s mystery gent, wrong movie).

July 9, 2020, Mystery Photo

For “Aha Thursday,” we have this mystery couple.

Update: This is James Cagney, soon to star in “The Public Enemy,” also directed by William Wellman, and an as yet unidentified actress.

Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (mystery movie, Monday’s and Wednesday’s mystery women, Wednesday’s mystery railroad workers, mystery silent film and mystery silent film cast), Howard Mandelbaum (Wednesday’s mystery guests), Mike Hawks (Wednesday’s mystery waitress and mystery railroad worker No. 2), David Inman (mystery movie, Wednesday’s mystery waitress and mystery railroad worker No. 2), Dan Nather (Wednesday’s mystery waitress and mystery railroad workers) and Anne Papineau (Tuesday’s mystery gent, wrong movie). Note to Roget-L.A.: right actor, wrong movie.

July 10, 2020, Mystery Photo

For Friday, we have a mystery leading man and a mystery woman who does not approve of such goings-on.

Update: This is Grant Withers and Joan Blondell.

July 10, 2020, Mystery Photo
Then our mystery leading man has a mystery companion – and let me tell you, brother, he does not approve of such goings-on, either. At least they know how to wear hats!

Update: This is Grant Withers and Regis Toomey.

July 10, 2020, Mystery Photo
And here’s our leading man with another mystery woman who doesn’t approve of such goings-on. In fact, this movie is mostly about disapproved goings-on.

Update: This is Mary Astor and Grant Withers.

Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (Thursday’s mystery gent), Michael Ryerson (mystery movie and mystery cast), Mike Hawks (Thursday’s mystery gent), Howard Mandelbaum (Thursday’s mystery gent), Dan Nather (Thursday’s mystery gent and mystery director), Roget-L.A. (mystery movie and Thursday’s mystery gent), Anne Papineau (mystery movie and mystery director) and Sylvia E. (mystery movie, Monday’s mystery landlady, Tuesday’s mystery amputee, Wednesday’s mystery waitress, mystery silent movie and mystery actors, also Wednesday’s mystery railroad men and Thursday’s mystery gent, plus peering into the future to see Friday’s mystery folks).

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
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46 Responses to Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

  1. Wild Boys of the Road (1933) ?


  2. Dan Nather says:

    I think this is OTHER MEN’S WOMEN (1931).


  3. suzanne a. stone says:

    “Other Men’s Women” (1931) starring Jimmy Cagney and Joan Blondell.


  4. Chrisbo says:

    “The Iron Horse”?


  5. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    The lady on right: Kate Price.


  6. Gary says:

    I know it’s not but she certainly looks like Mary Wicks. Mary?


  7. Mary Mallory says:

    THE POWER AND THE GLORY with J. Farrell MacDonald today.


  8. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    OTHER MEN’S WOMEN (1931)
    Monday: Lucille Ward
    Tuesday: J. Farrell Macdonald


  9. Floyd Thursby says:

    J. Farrell MacDonald in The Hurricane Express for Tuesday.


  10. Well this is certainly J. Farrell MacDonald.


  11. Take a stab with the Phantom Express.


  12. mike hawks says:

    J. Farrell MacDonald in OTHER MEN’S WOMEN 1931.


  13. Dan Nather says:

    J. Farrell MacDonald for Tuesday. Still trying to identify the ladies from Monday . . .


  14. Sheila says:

    J. Farrell MacDonald for Tuesday?


  15. Jenny Lerew says:

    J. Farrell MacDonald in the slicker.


  16. Patrick says:

    Tuesday: J. Farrell MacDonald


  17. Sylvia E. says:

    Another shot in the dark: is Monday’s screen left woman Virginia Howell and is the movie “Florida Special” 1936?


  18. Rogét-L.A. says:

    Is Tuesday’s mystery gent J. Farrell MacDonald in The Phantom Express (1932)?


  19. Mary Mallory says:

    OTHER MEN’S WOMEN. Lucille Ward Monday and today Lilian Worth, BOTH Cagney, Ford Sterling and Mabel Normand, with their Keystone compatriot Kewpie Morgan without his mustache and Fred Kohler hiding his missing finger.


  20. Mary Mallory says:

    Raymond Hatton, Mabel, and Ford in Barney Oldfield’s Race for a Life (1913).


  21. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Lilian Worth; Kewpie Morgan, Fred Kohler.


  22. mike hawks says:

    Lillian Worth is the waitress and Fred Kohler is our mean man at the right.


  23. David Inman says:

    Fred Kohler on Tuesday, Lillian Worth today, so this is “Other Men’s Women.”


  24. Dan Nather says:

    The waitress is Lillian Worth. Not sure about the drugstore clerk. And that’s Fred Kohler on the right, and (maybe) Kewpie Morgan on the left in the last shot.


  25. Rogét-L.A. says:

    Stormy (1935)?


  26. Anne Papineau says:

    Might that be J. Farrell MacDonald in “The Hurricane Express”??


  27. Mary Mallory says:

    James Cagney and Joan Blondell.


  28. Mary Mallory says:

    Oops, Mary AStor.


  29. Gee whiz, Jimmie Cagney on a Thursday? What has the world come to? Other Men’s Women (1931) with Grant Withers, Joan Blondell, Regis Toomey and Mary Astor. I don’t recognize who this is dancing with Cagney, not Astor (I don’t think) and surely not Blondell..


  30. mike hawks says:

    James Cagney and a woman who shall forever remain unknown.


  31. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    James Cagney.


  32. Dan Nather says:

    James Cagney! And this was right before William Wellman — who directed this film — would direct him again in THE PUBLIC ENEMY.


  33. Rogét-L.A. says:

    James Cagney in Other Men’s Women (1931)?


  34. Sylvia E. says:

    Other Men’s Women 1931 (Thank you Mr. Cagney!)

    Mon. – Image #1: Locomotive is great! Regis Toomey’s in the engineer’s cab. Image #2 – the foreground woman is Lucille Ward, yelling at the O.S.and exiting Grant Withers and Regis Toomey. Still working on the name of the other woman who is not yelling (or talking at all.)

    Tues. – J. Ferrell MacDonald

    Weds. – #1 is waitress Lillian Worth chatting with ‘cropped for lack of mysteriousness’ Grant Withers. Image #2 is unknown for me as yet, but he has $8 ‘cures for headaches’ (one of quite a few prohibition references in this movie) and he’s talking to ‘cropped for mysteriousness’ Grant Withers again. #3 the sidebar image from “Barney Oldfield’s Race for Life” 1913: I think the guy on screen left is Raymond Hatton, the guy with the sledgehammer is Ford Sterling and Mabel Normand is tied to the tracks. No guess yet on the guy on screen right. Image #4 has Kewpie Morgan and Fred Kohler

    Thurs. – a ‘baby-faced’ James Cagney. He’s dancing with a woman whose character’s name is ‘Pearl’ but not sure of the actress’ name. Still working on that, too.

    Guessing that Fri. will bring Grant Withers, Mary Astor, Regis Toomey, Joan Blondell.

    Not a bad little story. Cagney and Blondell steal it away, though.


  35. Anne Papineau says:

    William Wellman’s “Other Men’s Women”


  36. Friday’s roundup includes Grant Withers(?) and Joan Blondell, Grant Withers and Regis Toomey, and Grant Withers and Mary Astor. Lotta back stories here.


  37. mike hawks says:

    Grant Withers with co-stars Joan Blondell, Regis Toomey and Mary Astor.


  38. McDee says:

    Grant Withers and Regis Toomey and Grant Withers and Mary Astor. Other Men’s Women from 1931.


  39. Patrick says:

    Other Men’s Women from 1931


  40. Dan Nather says:

    Omigosh, Grant Withers with (from top to bottom) Joan Blondell, Regis Toomey, and Mary Astor. And I learned how to wear caps and fedoras from watching these movies.


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